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Vision screening

It is in the employee’s best interests to have an eye examination or sight test. Under the Regulations, they have a right to a sight test, as defined in the Opticians Act,120 if they wish. However, the Health and Safety Executive has indicated that there is a role for vision screening and you may be approached by employers to carry this out.
If you provide a vision screening service you should: 
  1. make clear to both employer and employee that vision screening is not the same as a statutory sight test or a full eye examination and it cannot reliably be used to check for:
    • injury
    • disease
    • abnormality of the visual system
  2. make it clear that the employee has a right to a full eye examination
  3. refer any employee who has failed the screening check to their optometrist for an eye examination
  4. note that an employer may contract with you to carry out both vision screening and eye examinations, as well as provide any necessary appliances. However, you must hand the prescription and written statement to the employee.
Eye examinations for DSE users are to enhance comfort and efficiency by identifying and correcting vision defects, thus helping to prevent temporary eyestrain and fatigue.
There is no reliable evidence that work with DSE causes any permanent damage to eyes or eyesight, but it may make users with pre-existing vision defects more aware of them. 
Some DSE work is specialised and requires people to see colour changes, do fine work or use DSE equipment over a long period. The regulations define ‘special corrective appliances' as those that are provided to correct vision defects at the viewing distance or distances used specifically for the DSE work concerned. 


120 Opticians Act 1989 s.36(2) [Accessed 1 Nov 2023]